TRIP Database

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Last Update

  • Updated.jpg 9 March 2018


See also Canadian consumer health information (CHI) portal 800px-Flag of Canada.svg.png | Citeseerx | DynaMed (EBSCO) | Google scholar | SUMSearch 2.0

"...Trip is a free clinical search engine. Its primary function is to help clinicians identify the best available evidence with which to answer clinical questions. Its roots are firmly in the world of evidence-based medicine..." - Wikipedia

The TRIP database (clinical search engine) is a free-to-use metasearch tool that helps users retrieve a wide range of high-quality medical evidence via a single interface and website. TRIP is international in scope, and retrieves content and information from a range of information sources (see above). TRIP was created in 1997 as a result of the work of Jon Brassey (see blog Liberating the literature) and Dr. Chris Price who aimed to create a tool to answer their clinical questions. The goal was to return answers soon after locating the evidence from authoritative sources. TRIP identify the best medical evidence, and materials are culled from databases and websites. It's an indispensable tool for many who use it. According to the site, manual searches of evidence-based sites are conducted in order to build the tool. For more information, see TRIP - About.


Trip vs pro.JPG
  • TRIP is a clinical search engine designed to allow users to quickly and easily find and use high-quality research evidence to support their practice and/or care.
  • To understand the differences between the TRIP Database and the Pro/Premium version, see at right.
  • TRIP links to full-text via PubMedCentral and to institutional full-text holdings. For linking, edit your profile and tell us your institution among the institutions registered .
  • Develops world filter, and identify content suitable for the developing world; the filtering system also allows to search by publisher.
  • TRIP has developed a publisher classification system, which groups publishers by the primary type of research material they provide, such as key primary research or systemic reviews. The filtering system allows users to refine searches by publisher, by dates, and by a controlled trials search, which has recently been enhanced to provide controlled trial hits with 97% accuracy.
  • TRIP is a controlled trials database to make systematic review production, sensitive to resource poor setting, a whole lot easier.
  • TRIP has DynaMed integration so you can search DynaMed via Trip. Useful if you have access to DynaMed.
  • TRIP links to case reports. A new section of content added to the site.
  • TRIP has a PICO-based search screen
  • TRIP allows logging in via Facebook, Twitter and personal TRIP account to "track previous searches & lookups"
  • Translate introduced, allowing users to translate the search results into one of six languages (Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese and Welsh)
  • DOI (Digital object identifier) is displayed, this is to facilitate the identification of full-text articles
  • Clinical trials are highlighted via links to; search terms are sent to and returned to TRIP
  • Clinical calculators related to the search terms are now displayed
  • Restrict the results to new research only
  • Incorporating new content including medical education, patient decision aids, and content from social media and video.

Key websites & video

See also Yale University School of Medicine's TRIP tutorial

Search tips

Searching in many keyword-driven search tools is often confined to searches of "title" and/or "title and text". In TRIP, the idea is that citations about the topic 'asthma' are most likely reflected in articles titles. While useful to search for titles, a over-reliance on keyword title searching presents retrieval problems. Even in titles, searching for asthma generates false hits and overload. Identifying relevant material is difficult as users often want to combine two or three additional terms not found in the title or text. In TRIP, it is recommended that:

  1. title searches be performed first, then;
  2. title and text searches
  3. combine at least two sets
  4. click on categories and browse results

Most physicians are familiar with Google, and add terms to search quickly across the web. Average numbers of search terms per search is gradually increasing over time as users becoming more sophisticated. Therefore, increased use of terms is reflected now in TRIP. The challenge is to try and mimic the Google search interface yet still return good results. TRIP has produced a system that works well, according to Jon's blog. His plan is to continue to improve the search algorithm.


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